April 21, 2024

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Clouds may be an issue during the total solar eclipse on April 8

2 min read

The partial solar eclipse in the DMV will be much better with clear skies.

Topper Shutt, Kaitlyn McGrath, Makayla Lucero, Christopher Laudicina

8:28 PM EDT April 3, 2024

8:28 PM EDT April 3, 2024

WASHINGTON — During solar eclipses, clouds can have a huge impact starting with obscuring the entire event if it’s completely overcast. The temperature drop is much less. 

If we are cloudy on Monday, we will not really notice a drop in temperature. In a total solar eclipse, the temperature can drop five to eight degrees, depending on how long that area is in totality. For the DMV, we could lose a degree or two as long as we are not cloudy or mostly cloudy.

It’s fun to look back on how many times we in the nation’s capital have seen rainfall on April 8 since 1974. Although we cannot predict the weather this April 8, based off of that number we still find the odds are in our favor.  

Measurable rainfall has occurred only 18 times on April 8 over the last 50 years. A trace of rainfall occurred in the nation’s capital on April 8 another five times over the last 50 years. Although a “trace” of rain is too little to measure, it does mean that it was overcast for a portion of the day another five times.

That puts the total number of times D.C. has seen rainfall on April 8 at 23 over the last 50 years. That means a little less than half the time, or once roughly every other year, the nation’s capital has had rain on April 8.  Generally speaking, that means almost half of the April 8’s have been cloudy for at least part of the time over the last 50 years.  

We do not need clear skies all day just between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. We’d probably settle for 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. Right now we are concerned about a warm front lifting north into the DMV. This front will bring some clouds and even a passing shower. We are still days out and this forecast will change.

Unfortunately, much of the entire path of totality, where the moon completely blocks the sun, looks to be cloudy and stormy, especially in Texas.

2024-04-04 00:28:53

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